With a spate of mega-selling shows like “Hamilton,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “Springsteen on Broadway” now running, the Broadway box office is easily outpacing itself this year. Want proof? The season is is barely half over, and it’s already up to $918 million — more than $130 million more than the season-so-far tally at the same time last year.
The rapidly rising numbers make sense, as more and more shows are attracting the kind of ticket demand that drives consumers to shell out for big-money tickets. Last week alone, five shows topped the $2 million mark: “Hamilton” ($2,827,018), “Hello, Dolly!” ($2,448,611), “Springsteen on Broadway” ($2,401,108), “The Lion King” ($2,336,750) and “Wicked” ($2,000,828).
A dozen shows overall pulled in more than $1 million apiece, with spring successes “Dear Evan Hansen” ($1,745,097) and “Come From Away” ($1,391,115) joined by fall buzzmagnet “The Band’s Visit” ($1,079,330). It all adds up to $34.4 million for 32 shows last week — about $4 million more than the same week last year, when there were also 32 shows going.
On the other end of the sales spectrum, the disappointing run of “M. Butterly” ($370,427) closed but didn’t get a lift from last-minute sales. Two shows — “Farinelli and the King” ($712,364), playing to close to packed houses, and “The Children” ($203,238) — opened. “SpongeBob SquarePants” ($758,067) picked up some steam, but could still use a bit more if it’s really going to benefit from the strong reviews it earned.
Overall attendance last week weighed in at 257,160, or about 85% of overall capacity. Holiday traffic should still continue strong in the coming week — but it’s the week after, the one between Christmas and New Year’s, that stands poised to explode in the annual holiday boom.